Today I had brunch with a friend at a Cuban restaurant in our neighborhood, and I decided to have a café con leche. It’s basically a cappuccino, but the Cuban version comes with a heaping tablespoon of sugar. No wonder it’s one of my favorite memories of living in Florida.

Even though the café con leche at our local place didn’t come fully loaded with sugar, it was so good I decided to have another. The caffeine was giving me a good, energetic feeling, but I usually don’t drink regular coffee. So, after the second cup, my buzz turned into a buzz saw in the center of my chest–which was a total buzz kill.

This episode is typical for me. Whenever I have something wonderful, enough is never enough; I always want more, which is usually too much. I remember doing the same thing with cheese in the South of France. The fromage there is unlike anything I’d ever tasted, so fresh and pungent and densely creamy and strong, but gentle. It’s customary to take a small portion of each type of cheese as nice end to your meal. Me? I went back and took chunky seconds, and then thick thirds, possibly even a fingerful of fourths. My dinner companions were kind enough to limit their comments to, “You really like that stuff, don’t you?” I believe I’m still carrying some of that cheese around on my hips, and that trip was years ago.

This “more is more” approach can take anything innocent—be it dessert or bowling—from pleasure to guilty pleasure to an obsession worthy of the need for self-help books. (I used to be obsessed with them, too.) I’d love to learn how to strike a balance between wishing I’d gone back for seconds and wishing I hadn’t gone back for thirds. Then again, I may be the only one counting.

For now, I can try to channel my Nana, who enjoyed everything in moderation—one glass of wine, half a liverwurst sandwich (not my thing, but it was her equivalent of pate), a bite or two of dessert. I’m not there yet, but it’s something I can aspire to. In the meantime, I found this easy recipe for café con leche that can be made without a cappuccino maker–or caffeine.

Café con leche (super-easy version)

1 cup milk or soymilk
1 generous tablespoon of instant coffee, either regular or low-octane
A small amount of boiling water
1 heaping tablespoon sugar (optional)

On low heat, warm milk in a small pot. Bring water to a boil and pour about a quarter cup of it over instant coffee in a mug. Stir. When milk is hot but not boiling, pour it over the coffee and stir. Add sugar if you take your café sweet.

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